Pallone Praises MLB and Players Association for New Smokeless Tobacco Ban
WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today praised Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association for reportedly agreeing to ban the use of smokeless tobacco products by all new players in the league.
“This reported agreement between Major League Baseball and its Players Association is a victory for the health of new professional players and young players all around the nation who look up to them as role models,” Pallone said. “The devastating health effects of chewing tobacco are well known, and any opportunity to limit its use at the professional level is a welcome development.”
Millions of American teenagers and young adults currently use smokeless tobacco, which can cause oral, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of smokeless tobacco by youth athletes increased between 2001 and 2013, with young athletes being nearly 80 percent more likely to use smokeless tobacco products than non-athletes. Pallone does not believe these trends will change until MLB players stop using chewing tobacco.
Pallone has long advocated for ending the use of smokeless tobacco in baseball. Six years ago he held a Health Subcommittee Hearing on the subject where he demanded that chewing tobacco be banned from baseball. Earlier this year, Pallone once again called on MLB to ban smokeless tobacco.